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Film Comment lists and 2010's discussion

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cinewest
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Film Comment lists and 2010's discussion

#1

Post by cinewest » December 8th, 2019, 3:01 am

The latest issue of film comment is a good one, and not only contains the beginning of a series of podcast discussions about the 2010's, but also their year by year top film lists back to 2000, and a bunch of other good articles:

https://www.filmcomment.com/blog/the-fi ... =version_A

https://www.filmcomment.com/blog/year-e ... =version_A

Would love to discuss their podcast or film lists with anyone here as a lead up to the 2019 and best of decade lists.

Your move...

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#2

Post by Obgeoff » December 8th, 2019, 10:46 am

Thanks cinewest - have lined up the podcast and will listen this week.
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#3

Post by cinewest » December 8th, 2019, 11:22 am

Obgeoff wrote:
December 8th, 2019, 10:46 am
Thanks cinewest - have lined up the podcast and will listen this week.
This is the first of several conversations to follow on the subject, and the perspectives of the participants is always interesting, if only because of how immersed they are in the world of cinema. Am assuming that many folks here would be interested.

The second link is to their yearly lists since 2000, which are made from at least 50 contributor / critics, and I expect that their 2019 list and 2010's list will follow in the next publication.

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#4

Post by Coryn » December 8th, 2019, 11:58 am

Awesome cinewest !

I have been looking for podcasts on movies but most podcasts focus on one movie per episode which somehow annoys me. I like it more when they discuss a decade or a genre.
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#5

Post by cinewest » December 11th, 2019, 2:54 am

Film Comment have also released their top 10 of 2019: https://www.filmcomment.com/best-films-of-2019/

All of the ones I have seen are good but not great

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#6

Post by zuma » December 11th, 2019, 3:39 am

cinewest wrote:
December 11th, 2019, 2:54 am
Film Comment have also released their top 10 of 2019: https://www.filmcomment.com/best-films-of-2019/

All of the ones I have seen are good but not great
Seen seven so far and I agree with your assessment.

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#7

Post by Obgeoff » December 11th, 2019, 11:13 am

Large consensus with the Sight and Sound Top 10 for best of 2019.

I enjoyed the first podcast and will definitely listen to the series. I thought the conversation could have benefited from a bit more structure to explore in depth a fewer amount of the themes.

Did like that it focused on bigger picture rather than specific films (although some of the titles name checked seemed wilfully obscure to reference as big picture of the decade titles). Balkanisation of the viewing platforms and the role of torrents in hardcore cinephilia were particularly interesting to me.
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#8

Post by cinewest » December 12th, 2019, 12:49 am

Obgeoff wrote:
December 11th, 2019, 11:13 am
Large consensus with the Sight and Sound Top 10 for best of 2019.

I enjoyed the first podcast and will definitely listen to the series. I thought the conversation could have benefited from a bit more structure to explore in depth a fewer amount of the themes.

Did like that it focused on bigger picture rather than specific films (although some of the titles name checked seemed wilfully obscure to reference as big picture of the decade titles). Balkanisation of the viewing platforms and the role of torrents in hardcore cinephilia were particularly interesting to me.
I also found the part about the film landscape as it pertains to audiences most interesting, and think that they touched upon a lot of things I have noticed this decade, including the upsurge and quality of “queer” cinema, as well as the further domination of big action fantasy franchises in movie theaters.
One thing I have noticed pertaining to the latter is the similarity between these kinds of films and video games, and both seem to be feeding each other, now, which is distressing to me as a cinephile whose passion for movies references a much earlier time.
Another thing I have noticed which they didn’t get into all that much is how auteurs have found new life in streaming platforms and Limited TV series, including a bunch of filmmakers for whom English is a foreign language.
An adjunct to this is that there are fewer and fewer recognizable / established auteurs these days, and they have definitely taken more of a back seat in the industry, as well as among movie audiences.
While there are more independent filmmakers than ever around the world, I see very few who are “leading” the way, and most who are adopted by critics (like those mentioned in the podcast) seem minor by comparison with the auteurs who came to the forefront in the previous century.

Last but not least, they also didn’t really delve into the way movies are changing in a landscape with more and more alternative and new tech medias that involve visual narrative. Most are interactive gaming alternatives, but social media is bringing about others that are competing with and influencing cinema, as much as being influenced by it.
Last edited by cinewest on December 12th, 2019, 1:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#9

Post by Onderhond » December 12th, 2019, 8:27 am

cinewest wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 12:49 am
An adjunct to this is that there are fewer and fewer recognizable / established auteurs these days, and they have definitely taken more of a back seat in the industry, as well as among movie audiences.
While there are more independent filmmakers than ever these days around the world, I see very few who are “leading” the way, and most who are adopted by critics (like those mentioned in the podcast) seem minor by comparison with the auteurs who came to the forefront in the previous century.
I think that's mostly an unforeseen consequence of having "more choice".

To explain with some (not very exact but illustrative) numbers:
If you give an audience of 1000 people 2 films, the watch ratio could be split 50-50
If you give an audience of 1000 people 500 films, 499 people will have watched a single film while the other 501 people will have flocked around the remaining one.

I think there's a "communal" part of film (and other arts) that we somehow underestimated when we asked for more choice and developed a more individual taste. It turns out that many people don't really prefer a more perfect film if they're the only ones who have seen it. When they can talk about the film or share their love, it clearly diminishes the appeal for many. I think this helps to explain why in an era of almost unlimited choice, we see people flock around a select few established franchises more than ever.

In other words, it's easier to create a French Wave when it's just you and four other guys standing up against an established elite in a world where only four countries are making movies. Nowadays, every country has its New Wave, and its indie, genre, arthouse and commercial fans. It's really hard to stand out anymore.

Now that I think about it, it also helps to explain the critic's reactions to Scorsese's newest film.

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#10

Post by cinewest » December 13th, 2019, 6:37 am

Onderhond wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 8:27 am
cinewest wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 12:49 am
An adjunct to this is that there are fewer and fewer recognizable / established auteurs these days, and they have definitely taken more of a back seat in the industry, as well as among movie audiences.
While there are more independent filmmakers than ever these days around the world, I see very few who are “leading” the way, and most who are adopted by critics (like those mentioned in the podcast) seem minor by comparison with the auteurs who came to the forefront in the previous century.
I think that's mostly an unforeseen consequence of having "more choice".

To explain with some (not very exact but illustrative) numbers:
If you give an audience of 1000 people 2 films, the watch ratio could be split 50-50
If you give an audience of 1000 people 500 films, 499 people will have watched a single film while the other 501 people will have flocked around the remaining one.

I think there's a "communal" part of film (and other arts) that we somehow underestimated when we asked for more choice and developed a more individual taste. It turns out that many people don't really prefer a more perfect film if they're the only ones who have seen it. When they can talk about the film or share their love, it clearly diminishes the appeal for many. I think this helps to explain why in an era of almost unlimited choice, we see people flock around a select few established franchises more than ever.

In other words, it's easier to create a French Wave when it's just you and four other guys standing up against an established elite in a world where only four countries are making movies. Nowadays, every country has its New Wave, and its indie, genre, arthouse and commercial fans. It's really hard to stand out anymore.

Now that I think about it, it also helps to explain the critic's reactions to Scorsese's newest film.
Yes, there is definitely more choice in visual media entertainment (movies included) than ever before, and also agree that the "communal influence" on culture is huge, as joint cultural experiences become important topical references in our lives, not only functioning as conversation points, but as fashion influencers, and unifiers of thoughts / beliefs. And while around the world there are a myriad of "unifiers" that can popularize films for various sub-cultural groups, American mainstream films are the great "global unifiers," and large amounts of money and marketing campaigns are what keep it going.

Who creates, and keeps the smaller cultural film collectives alive? Largely the media outlets, and increasingly those which have attracted a following online. This begins with the film critics, who themselves seem to divide their film loyalties between "popular genre-based cinema," "Topical / trendy American Indies (which involve filmmaker followings), and "arthouse cinema" (mostly director or film festival based). My own taste would probably classified as "arthouse (with quite a bit of crossover)," but the films and filmmakers that tend to be promoted within this niche often don't appeal to me, and there are many very good ones I discover that are flat out ignored because they lack features that gain them access to "the club."

This seems to be a great time to be an African American, woman, or LBGT filmmaker, and it almost seems like film critics are dialing back to the 60's and 70's when these groups fought for and gained more civil rights. Not to say that many of the films coming from these "communities" have not earned attention, only pointing out that social trends and styles often determine what gets attention, and to me much of the latest stuff that is lauded is overrated, either because it has been made by well-known filmmakers who are either out of touch, or have lost their spark of genius), or by newish filmmakers who haven't fully developed as artists or craftspeople.

Though you and I have very different film taste, we agree that a lot falls through the cracks because it doesn't get enough attention from the wheels of promotion, especially in the last 20-25 years when so many different kinds of movies have been coming from just about everywhere on Earth.

As for Scorsese's The Irishman, I can't say I'm that interested. Not only have I read that the "true story" depicted is false, but I can't imagine Scorsese really has anything new to say about gangsters. I have also read that, while the technology diminishing the age of the principle actors so that they can play younger versions of themselves is interesting, i heard from a friend that it is laughable when it comes to the action sequences, and the audience is treated to a 70 year old masquerading as a 30 year old ass kicker.

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#11

Post by cinewest » December 14th, 2019, 1:09 am

Part 2 of Film Comment's discussion of the decade:
https://www.filmcomment.com/blog/the-fi ... =version_A


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#13

Post by OldAle1 » December 17th, 2019, 12:46 am

Thanks for posting these, I listened to the second one yesterday. Some good insights but I have to say not hugely valuable overall - either one of them. Too much territory covered in too short a time, and the center of gravity being the New York critical world leaves me pretty out of the cold - a great many of the films they mention I've never heard of, and really wouldn't know how to get to see anytime soon, though I did add a few to my to-see list anyway.

Most interesting part to me was the discussion re: streaming/Netflix/etc, which is certainly having a huge impact on the world of film/tv, and one that really marks a generational change - it strikes me that few folks my age or older are really enthusiastic about this, at least few that have been serious about film since the days when you had to see stuff in the cinema if you hoped to see it at all. Again there's the city/rural divide, and even the NY or LA / Chicago or smaller cities divide - these critics all take it for granted that they can see the most anticipated films on a big screen, the rest of us, no. And I think that's actually a divide that has increased over the last 20-30 years, though it has to be said also that now those of us outside of the mega-metros actually can see many of these films in some way, even if it's not the way we might have wanted to - in my days in Chicago if I missed some smaller film, that was it, or so it seemed in the pre-internet era.

Anyway, interesting. I'm way, way behind on 2019 stuff so this year's lists are mostly "oh, maybe I should see that" fodder for me right now.

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#14

Post by Coryn » December 19th, 2019, 1:36 pm

I saved Latin, what did you ever do ?

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#15

Post by cinewest » December 21st, 2019, 3:08 pm

Here's the third installment of Film Comment's take on the decade, which speaks a lot about acting and actors in movies:
https://www.filmcomment.com/blog/the-fi ... =version_A



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#18

Post by zuma » January 8th, 2020, 4:21 pm

Angel Glez wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 3:50 pm
Top 50 (if you can't wait): http://www.micropsiacine.com/2020/01/li ... 2010-2019/
Really nice list

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#19

Post by cinewest » January 9th, 2020, 2:11 pm

Angel Glez wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 3:50 pm
Top 50 (if you can't wait): http://www.micropsiacine.com/2020/01/li ... 2010-2019/
Pretty interesting list. I've seen 40 of theirs. They tabbed 12 of my top 50, and 8 more of mine were in my top 100.

Notable exclusions from their list (all in my top 25):

Melancholia
Once Upon A Time in Anatolia
My Joy
Night Across the Street
Amour
Birdman
The Great Beauty
Son of Saul
Stories We Tell
Heimat
Pina'
The Square
Samsara
Keyhole

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